Getting to DC from Baltimore
Door to door, it takes about 70 minutes to get to Washington, DC from Baltimore. You can get there by MARC or Amtrak train, car or Metro Subway. We suggest taking some form of public transit, since parking can be expensive and traffic is usually bad once you get to DC. But if you wish to drive all the way, Union Station is a great option for parking and is easily accesible to all the monuments and museums.
MARC Train (to DC)
The MARC train offers daily trips from Baltimore’s Penn Station (Penn Line) and Camden Yards (Camden Line) to Washington’s Union Station. Penn Station offers weekend and evening trains to and from DC. Visit their website for schedules and more info!
The Camden Line only runs during the week, but is the best option to get to DC from Federal Hill. The Penn Line is the best option to get to DC on the weekends from Federal Hill.
The Penn Line is the best way to get to DC from Bolton Hill at all times.
Southbound trains go to DC and northbound trains bring you back to Baltimore. The last train to Camden Yards (on weekdays) is around 6 pm. The last train from DC on the Penn Line is around 10 PM. It is recommended to take a cab or an Uber back to Federal Hill from Penn Station if you arrive after 7 or 8 pm since public transit runs less often in the evenings.
Pen Station is a 10 minute walk uphill to the Bolton Hill: Linden Green property.
Note: The MARC's weekend hours are limited, so be sure to check the schedule carefully.
Amtrak Train to DC
Amtrak offers limited trains between Baltimore and DC at a higher cost than MARC. Check their website for prices and schedules. Amtrack has service up and down the east coast to cities like Philadelphia, NYC, and many other places. You can take the Amtrack train from Penn Station.
Driving to DC/DC Metro Subway
You can also drive to the closest DC metro subway stop in either Greenbelt or New Carrollton (runs till midnight), and take the Metro to DC. It's about a 30 min drive. And maybe another 30 min by subway. Visit their website for more info!
Getting around DC
It is highly recommended that you make use of the efficient public transit system (Metrorail and Metro bus) once in DC. Information and schedules for Metro can be found at www.wmata.com.
DC Circulator Bus - affordable and efficient way to get around DC
The DC Circulator provides public transportation to the District’s main attractions and most lively neighborhoods for business, culture and entertainment at a cost of only $1. With a fleet of 67 buses, the Circulator services each of its 136 stops every 10 minutes, providing simple, fast and affordable transit to residents, commuters and visitors around the nation’s capital. Visit their website for more info!
Carsharing : Uber or Lyft
Uber and Lyft are a great way to get around DC without a car if you don't want to take the subway.
Arriving in DC
From Baltimore, you will arrive at Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002. There are lots of shops, restaurants and things to see while waiting for your train.
It is a 15-20 minute walk from Union Station to the National Mall
- Head south toward Columbus Circle Northeast
- Turn left onto Louisiana Ave NE
- Turn right onto Constitution Ave NW
- Turn left onto 3rd St NW
- Turn right onto Madison Dr NW
Or you can take the Metro
- Take the red line towards shady grove to the Metro Center Metro stop
- Get off and Transfer to the Orange line towards New Carrollton
- Get off at the Smithsonian Stop
- Head west on Independence Ave SW toward 14th St SW
- Turn left onto 14th St SW
- Turn right toward Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW
- Turn left onto Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW
- Slight left onto Maine Ave SW
- Slight right onto Ohio Dr SW
- The mall will be on your left.
Planning Your Visit and Tours
The National Mall stretches west from the foot of Capitol Hill at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial to encompass the Mall itself, the Washington Monument Grounds, the Tidal Basin area, and West Potomac Park before terminating at the Watergate Steps behind the Lincoln Memorial. Several Metro stations provide ready access to the National Mall.
There is a wide array of options for seeing the city such as segways, rental bikes, or double decker buses. DC also offers tours for foodies, history buffs, ghost hunters ... even junior spies!
The DC Circulator is a more affordable way to get around if you prefer a more do-it-yourself approach.
The Narrated Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour (Old Town Trolley Tours) allows you to see the major attractions in Washington DC with the convenience of being able to hop on and off as much as you like in a one- or two-day time period. It can be a little expensive, but is a great way to choose what you want to see and get on and off as much as you'd like for one price.
Things to See and Do in DC for Kids and Adults
US Capitol Building, E. Capitol St. and First St. NW. The U. S. Capitol Building is open to the public for guided tours only. Visitors learn about the work of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the impressive architecture of the most recognizable historic buildings in Washington, DC. Contact your state's Congressman or Senator prior to your trip to inquire about a guided tour from a staff person.
National Museum of Natural History There is something for everyone at this museum. Natural history appeals to all ages and there are so many artifacts that you can’t possibly see them all in one visit. The dinosaur exhibits are fascinating and great for kids. Tip: This is the most popular Washington DC museum for families. Arrive early in the morning to avoid crowds. Purchase IMAX tickets in advance or as soon as you arrive. If you are visiting with kids, be sure to see the Discovery Room where there are lots of hands-on activities. Allow at least 2-3 hours. More Info
National Air & Space Museum gives visitors a close-up view of air and space travel with 22 exhibition galleries, displaying hundreds of artifacts including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the "Spirit of St. Louis," and the Apollo 11 command module. The IMAX films and the Planetarium are great for all ages. Tips: This is one of the busiest Washington DC museums. Arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid crowds. Purchase IMAX or Planetarium tickets in advance or as soon as you arrive. Allow at least 2-3 hours.
National Museum of American History Newly remodeled, the Smithsonian museum is a great place for kids of all ages to use their imaginations and learn about our nation's history. Head to the the Spark! Lab, a hands-on science and invention center and America on the Move where you'll see how transportation shaped America. More Info
National Zoo is the most kid-friendly place to visit in Washington, DC where you can see more than 400 different species of animals. The National Zoo is set within the beautiful Rock Creek National Park and is a part of the Smithsonian Institution. Admission is FREE! More Info
Discovery Theater is located in the Ripley Center on the National Mall and is a live theater geared towards school-age children. Classic stories and folktales are told through puppet shows, storytellers, dancers, actors, musicians, and mimes. All shows are Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. More Info
Bureau of Engraving & Printing shows real money being printed! See how U.S. paper currency is printed, stacked, cut and examined for defects. Tours are every 15 minutes, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. More Info
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum is a memorial to the millions of Jews who died during the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II. The exhibits tell the horrific story of genocide and teach the dangers of hatred and prejudice. Visiting this museum is an emotional experience so be sure that you have enough time and stamina. The permanent exhibits are not recommended for children under 11 years old. There is a separate exhibit for ages 8 and up that tells the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of a young boy. Tip: Free Timed Passes are required for the permanent exhibit. Timed passes are distributed for the same day on a first-come first-served basis. Allow 2-3 hours. More Info
Newseum is a six-level, high-tech and interactive attraction traces the history of news reporting from the 16th century to the present day. Some great exhibits are the Pulitzer Prize Photo Gallery (shows the award winning images captured since the 1940s), Today’s Front Pages (shows 80 newspaper front pages from around the world, updated daily) and the 9/11 Gallery (looks at how the media responded to the tragic event). There are 15 theaters including a 4D immersive experience. You could easily spend most of the day here watching the footage of decades of historic events. Tip: Start at the top level and work your way down to the ground level. Allow at least 4 hours. More Info
Arlington National Cemetery is located across the Potomac River from Washington at the west end of the Memorial Bridge, Arlington, VA. This popular attraction serves as a cemetery and a memorial to America's war heroes. More than four million people visit Arlington National Cemetery each year, attending graveside services and special ceremonies to pay tribute to veterans and historical figures. More Info
Botanic Gardens First Street, SW, between Maryland Ave. and C St. is living plant museum located on the National Mall that showcases an impressive state-of-the-art indoor garden with approximately 4,000 seasonal, tropical and subtropical plants. The U.S. Botanic Garden is administered by the Architect of the Capitol and offers special exhibits and educational programs throughout the year. More Info
Ford’s Theatre is where Lincoln was assassinated and is both a national landmark and live theater. Visitors can enjoy a short talk by a National Park guide and learn the fascinating story of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. On the lower level, the Ford's Theatre Museum displays exhibits about Lincoln’s life and explains the circumstances of his tragic death. More Info
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Independence Avenue at 7th St. SW is the Smithsonian's museum of modern and contemporary art is comprised of approximately 11,500 artworks, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, collages, and decorative art objects.
Jefferson Memorial 15th Street, SW is one of the most popular attractions. The dome-shaped rotunda honors the nation's third president. The 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson is located on the Tidal Basin, surrounded by a grove of trees making it especially beautiful during Cherry Blossom season in the spring. More Info
Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage 2700 F. St. NW. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the home to the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington Opera, Washington Ballet and American Film Institute. Performances include theatre, musicals, dance, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, & folk music; youth and family programs and multi-media shows. Free daily performances are held on the Millennium Stage in the Grand Foyer. More Info
Library of Congress 101 Independence Ave, SE is the world’s largest library and contains more than 128 million items including books, manuscripts, films, photographs, sheet music and maps. Visitors can explore the library and navigate books through page-turning technology and learn how America’s greatest thinkers were inspired. More Info
Lincoln Memorial 23rd St. NW is one of Washington, DC's top attractions and occupies a prominent space on the National Mall. It is a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln, who fought to preserve our nation during the Civil War, from 1861-1865. The Lincoln Memorial has been the site of many famous speeches and events since its dedication in 1922. More Info
Martin Luther King Memorial West Basin Drive SW and Independence Avenue SW honors Dr. King’s contributions and vision for all to enjoy a life of freedom, opportunity, and justice. There is a bookstore and ranger led activities. More Info
National Cathedral Wisconsin & Massachusetts Ave. NW is an impressive structure, English Gothic in style, with exquisite architectural sculpture, wood carving, gargoyles, mosaics, and more than 200 stained glass windows. The top of the Gloria in Excelsis Tower, the highest point in Washington, DC offers dramatic views of the city. The grounds include beautiful gardens and a gift shop. More Info
National Gallery of Art and Sculpture Garden 7th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW is a popular attraction for art lovers. It is a world-class museum that displays one of the largest collections of masterpieces in the world including an international collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 13th century to the present. A six-acre sculpture garden includes 17 major sculptures by internationally renowned artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Mark di Suvero, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, and Tony Smith. Free jazz concerts are held in the garden on Friday evenings during the summer months. More Info
Supreme Court One 1st St., NE is in session October through April and visitors may view sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Supreme Court Building is open throughout the year from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visitors can participate in a variety of educational programs, explore exhibits and see a 25-minute film on the Supreme Court. More Info
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Constitution Ave. and Henry Bacon Dr. NW features a v-shaped granite wall that is inscribed with the names of the 58,209 Americans missing or killed in the Vietnam War. Across the lawn is a life size bronze sculpture of three young servicemen. More Info
Washington Monument Constitution Ave. and 15th St. SW is the memorial to George Washington, our nation's first president, and is the most prominent landmark in Washington, DC. It stands as the centerpiece of the National Mall and is the tallest structure in Washington, DC and measures 555 feet 5 1/8 inches high. You can ride the elevator to the top and see a birds-eye view of the city. More Info
White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW is the oldest public building in Washington, DC and has been the home of every president except George Washington. Public tours of the White House are limited to groups of 10 or more and must be requested through one's member of Congress. The White House Visitor Center is open to all and features a 30-minute video and exhibits about White House architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders. More Info
World War II Memorial 17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues. This beautiful structure serves as a peaceful place to remember those who served our country during World War II. The World War II Memorial is an oval shape with two 43-foot arches, representing the war's Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Fifty-six pillars represent the states, territories and the District of Columbia at the time of the war. Two sculpted bronze wreaths adorn each pillar. Small fountains sit at the bases of the two arches. More Info
Other Things to See and Do in DC - Adults
Most people visit Washington, DC and spend much of their time on the National Mall. Here are some suggestions of interesting places besides the National Mall for out-of-town visitors.
Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens With the recent addition of the new museum and education center, Mount Vernon is now a full day excursion. Explore the state of the art galleries and theaters, visit the 500-acre estate of George Washington and his family, tour the 14-room mansion that is beautifully restored and furnished with original objects dating back to the 1740's. Be sure to plan enough time to tour the outbuildings, including the kitchen, slave quarters, smokehouse, coach house and stables. More Info
Old Town Alexandria Take a walking tour of the quaint historic town just on the other side of the Potomac River from Washington, DC. Dating back to 1749, Alexandria’s riverfront was an important colonial port during the colonial, revolutionary and Civil War periods. Today it is a revitalized waterfront with cobblestone streets, colonial houses and churches, museums, shops and restaurants. More Info
Georgetown Explore historic homes and enjoy a variety of restaurants and upscale shopping along the cobblestone streets. Be sure to walk over to the waterfront and enjoy views of the Potomac River. More Info
Penn Quarter Visit the revitalized arts and entertainment district of downtown Washington. Explore museums, restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, theaters and trendy stores.
Eastern Market This open-air market in the Capitol Hill neighborhood offers everything from fresh fish to local produce. Weekends are lively at the farmers market, an arts-and-crafts market and a flea market on Sundays. More Info
Adams Morgan This neighborhood is the center of Washington's liveliest nightlife. Enjoy the international flavor of this community with restaurants featuring cuisine from just about everywhere from Ethiopia and Vietnam to Latin America and the Caribbean. Explore the nightclubs, coffee houses, bars, and unique shops.